Forget nine lives, these pussycats are more alive than ever 20 years later.
Directed and written by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, Josie and the Pussycats became one of the early Aughts’ biggest box office bombs. The film, released on April 11, 2001, grossed just $ 14 million and was filmed – sometimes brutally – in almost every review. The directors’ duo were so drawn from the experience that they never made a film again.
But here’s the thing that mostly male film critics didn’t realize at the time: Josie and the Pussycats – who starred Rachael Leigh Cook (Lead singer Josie), Tara Reid (Drummer Melody) and Rosario Dawson (Bassist Val) – should be weird and crazy and wasn’t really intended for her. Alan Cumming and Parker Posey were deliberately and deliciously exaggerated as cackling villains Wyatt and Fiona. DuJour was the perfect satire of the cultural obsession with the cookie cutter boy bands of the time. The music, as the kids would say, was beating. And above all, it found a response from young girls who saw the film and later became film critics.
Over the past two decades, Josie and the Pussycats have developed into a generation-defining cult classic that is also ahead of its time in that it picks up on consumerism and the state of pop music and yet perfectly embodies the Y2K era. Carson Daly Cameo included.